Rosey and Phil still striving for improvement at Stavanger Grand Slam
The USA pair topped their pool by adding a 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) win over Poland’s Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz to earlier victories over Norway’s Mathias Berntsen and Anders Berntsen Mol and compatriots Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty.
“The game today was good for me and Phil,” Rosenthal said. “We scored a lot of points, but we still have to clean up our side outs. There are some places in between where we lose some rallies, but for the most part we played well and we were scoring points and when we are doing that, we are hard to beat.
“Today was one of those days; some days you dig a lot of balls and some days you block a lot of balls, and some days you do not do either. Today was my day to do some defence.”
Dalhausser and Rosenthal are number one seeds in Stavanger and showed why by not dropping a set in their three matches.
The duo are chasing their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medals of 2014, though Dalhausser has previously won one gold and two bronze medals from prior visits to Norway’s south-west coast.
“I did not even realise we had won every set so far,” Rosenthal added. “Hopefully we will do the same in the rest of the tournament, keep winning like that.
“Obviously the further you get, the tougher it gets. We’ve just got to keep playing our game and scoring points.”
Spaniards show steel
Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira also progressed to the second elimination round after finishing pool play with three wins from three.
The Spaniards began by winning their opening two matches 2-0, but were pushed hard in three sets by Brazil’s Emanuel Rego and Pedro Salgado before they pulled away to win 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-8).
“The game was really, really difficult,” Herrera said. “We had to dig deep. The tiebreak was really close until 7-7 and then we made one block and defence and we were up by two points.
“Now we are very happy to be the winners of the pool, so we will see tomorrow.”
Herrera’s highest profile result came at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games when he and Javier Bosma won the silver medal, having played against Emanuel and Ricardo Santos in the final.
Since teaming up in 2009 Herrera and Gavira’s best result in Stavanger came in 2010 when the finished fourth.
“This tournament for me is one of the most beautiful,” Herrera added. “It is near the sea, and the people have supported it through the week, so it is really nice here.
“The conditions in this game were perfect. But we will see at the weekend.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam runs from Wednesday, June 25 until Sunday June 29. It is the eighth event and the fourth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features nine Grand Slams and 11 Open tournaments.
The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Gstaad Grand Slam which runs from July 9-13.
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